Nina Tassler

CBS honcho looks to 'Laughlin,' 'Kid Nation'

Tassler was looking to stir the pot at CBS this year — and she got her wish.

“Viva Laughlin” catches characters singing along to popular songs. “Cane” boasts a predominantly Latino cast. “Moonlight” centers on a vampire cop. The midseason entry “Swingtown” is a 1970s-set romp about the age of free love.

And then there’s “Kid Nation,” the kid-centric reality show that has wound up as the fall’s most controversial new show.

In straying from CBS’ recent formula of procedural crime dramas, Tassler hopes to generate more buzz at the Eye. But in the process, she’s also sticking her neck out in an effort to broaden CBS’ primetime domain.

As a loyal lieutenant of topper Leslie Moonves, Tassler has plenty of job security, in case the strategy doesn’t pan out. But unlike 1994, when CBS attempted to completely shed its old image in a single season, Tassler has been meticulous in not alienating the Eye’s core viewers — that’s why shows like “Laughlin,” “Cane” and “Moonlight” still offer up murder and mystery at their center.

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